Monday, August 26, 2013

Blog Tour: Taste Test by Kelly Fiore

Me? I definitely loved this book! My review goes up in two days! Now read on for some food related questions. Because I just couldn't help myself.

Fiction Freak: What made you want to write about a TV show and why food?
Kelly Fiore:I think the food part was more of a choice than the TV show part. I’ve been involved in a lot of writing workshops and classes and the two things that always ring true are “show, don’t tell” and “write what you know.” I know food – I can remember the dishes I ate on important days more than I can remember what I wore or what I said. Food was a huge part of my childhood and I always cooked with my mom, until I was old enough to do it alone.
But, the idea of a teen Top Chef came to me when I was driving – which is when I get a lot of my ideas, actually. And being such a big Top Chef fan (and rooting for Bryan Voltaggio in the TC Masters right now – he lives in my hometown!) it just seemed like a win-win.

FF: What research did you have to do for TASTE TEST?
KF: Wow, the word “research” really gives legitimacy to the concept of me lounging on the couch and watching every cooking show ever!
Honestly, I did watch a lot of cooking television – not just the “reality” stuff, but the regular half-hour Food Network shows, too. I wanted to get a concept of timing and how ingredients are prepped. I watched a lot of “behind the scenes” stuff that I found online – like, I remember watching a show where Giada DeLaurentis was showing how her show gets made. I used a lot of those details to pull together what I expected the inner workings of the show to look like. Other than that, the recipes had to be cooked and re-cooked to make sure they were something I would stand behind in a book. And I had to attach measurements to ingredients because I don’t measure anything.

FF: The banter between Christian and Nora had me LOLing. Did you ever have a witty banter going on between you and someone else?
KF: Absolutely – that is chemistry and it is pure gold. You have that with someone and it means you are totally in tune with them. It can be a friend and totally platonic, but the best is when that banter is really a cover for sexual tension, as in the case of Nora and Christian.
My husband and I were still in our teens when we met and I can tell you that we had very witty banter – it’s one of our many compatibilities J

FF: What is your FAVORITE recipe out of all the ones you've included in TASTE TEST?
KF: It’s a toss up between the Chicken Pasta Nora (which is imbedded in the book, not at the end) and the Mahi Mahi dish. Both of those are staples in my kitchen and they’re both delicious!

FF: If you were placed in a cooking competition, what place do you think you'd get?
KF: Oh, jeez – probably last. I can’t plate to save my life. My food never really looks “pretty” even if it does taste good. That, and I’m a little too sassy for my own good. I’d probably have a hard time building alliances and winning people over J

FF: If you had to choose one dessert to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
KF: It’s another toss up – it’s either Crème Brulee or Chocolate Mousse. Or a good brownie sundae. This question is too hard!!!

FF:  Are there any snacks you ALWAYS have to have on hand while you write?
KF: I LOVE sushi – especially spicy tuna and vegetable rolls – and Korean BBQ, so those are my go-to take out options when I’m writing. I don’t keep a lot of snacks around the house, honestly. But I do a LOT of ordering in.

FF: Who was your favorite character to write?
KF: I loved writing Christian and Nora’s interactions more than anything else. I love that bantering chemistry between them.

FF: Did you mean for the contradiction in Joy's (the mean girl's) name?
KF: No, not at all. Sometimes I put a ton of thought into names – Giada (GiGi), for example, was what we were going to name my son if he was a girl. But other times – like with Joy? It’s just the first name that pops in my head J

FF: Do you happen to have any embarrassing cooking moments you'd like to share?
KF: I did a lot of cooking experiments in my youth – this question would probably be a better one for my mom!
Lately, though, the most embarrassing thing I did was forget to put the sugar in a chocolate zucchini cake batter. I didn’t realize it until the batter was in the muffin tins – so I had to dump/scrap all the batter out of the little paper cupcake cups and back into the bowl so I could add the sugar. It was worth it, though, obviously. Cake without sugar is NOT good.

Taste Test Blurb
Nora Henderson has been basting baby back ribs for as long as she could reach the counter of her dad's famous barbecue joint. When she's accepted to Taste Test, a teen reality cooking competition, Nora can't wait to leave her humble hometown behind. On set, run-ins with the maddeningly handsome and talented son of a famous chef, Christian Van Lorten, make Nora wonder if it's him or the win she really wants, but as she and Christian emerge as front-runners for the final prize, Nora can't ignore the mysterious accidents plaguing the kitchen arena. Someone is conducting eliminations of their own, and if Nora doesn't stop them, she could be next to get "chopped" for good. 

With romance and intrigue as delectable as the winning recipes included in the story, this debut novel will be devoured by all.

Author Bio
Kelly Fiore has a BA in Creative Writing from Salisbury University and an MFA in Poetry from West Virginia University. Cooking and writing are two of Kelly's greatest passions; others include cupcakes, facials, and VH1 Classic. She lives in Maryland where she lives with her husband and son. Taste Test is her debut novel.



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